2015 marked the fourth annual Rising Star Awards and saw a record number of entries.

The Standard Bank Rising Star Awards programme was established to recognise and celebrate outstanding professionals between 28 – 40 years old in an effort to raise awareness of the country’s vast pool of skills and talent. 2015 marked the fourth annual instalment of the event and the winners were recently announced at a glittering event in Johannesburg.

A record number of close to 400 entries were received this year. The programme has 12 categories and entrants were judged by a panel of 40 people from both government and the corporate environment. Prof Jonathan Jansen, rector and vice-chancellor at the University of the Free State, gave a keynote presentation at the event.

“In order to succeed, you need to surround yourself with people who expect you to do well. Do not be afraid to pull an all-nighter to get the job done. Remember that mistakes are not always a bad thing – see it as an opportunity to grow,” said Jansen.

The winners in each of the 12 categories were Kristel Sampson, Functional Lead, Standard Bank (Banking & Financial Services category); Mbali Mbuli, Commercial Manager, Murray & Roberts Construction (Construction & Engineering category); Nokuthula Mtegha, Supply Planner, Shell (Energy & Chemicals category); Laura Reynolds, CEO, RecruitGroup (Entrepreneur category); Michelle Ramnath, General Manager: Consulting Services, Britehouse (Telecoms & Technology category); Ronnie Mulaudzi, Human Capital Manager, Massmart Services (Manufacturing, Retail & FMCG category); Jessica Wheeler, Head of Digital, Social and PR, Grey Africa (Media & Marketing category); Mogaleadi Sandra Seabela, Graduate Mining Engineer, Optimum Coal (Mining & Minerals category); Lee Naik, Senior Technology Strategy Executive, Accenture (Professional Services category); Dr Kajal Lutchminarian, Doctor, King Edward Hospital (Service: Public & Private category); Amy Mortlock, Marketing and Product Manager, STA Travel South Africa (Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality category); and Connie Mdladla, Managing Director, Khaas Logistics (Transport, Logistics & Supply Chain category).

Standard Bank’s Global Head of Resourcing, Amelia Muller, says the company is proud to be associated with the Rising Star Awards.

“They are a significant and sustainable vehicle through which organisations, our country as well as our continent can identify and nurture organisational and national assets who are set to play a key role in shaping the future,” commented Muller.

“We remain committed to enabling these Rising Stars to become role models, opinion leaders and an inspiration for other future African talent, which will assist in propelling the continent’s economy to new and greater heights,” concludes Muller.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to the following for the information contained in this article: www.risingstar.co.za.